Renegade Hardware 20th Anniversary Part 1 Review


New Member
I write reviews for Ministry of Sound's Online Magazine. I've just started reviewing club nights and the first one in the series is Renegade Hardware's 20th Anniversary Part 1. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Renegade Hardware’s legendary nights at The End were some of the scene’s best-loved parties, so fans of that era would have been counting down the days to this special retrospective '95-'05 night, welcoming a line-up constructed largely from the names that shaped and shifted the scene since the label was first established.

The line-up displayed undisputed class from first to last, setting the standards for the more cutting edge sound of dark, rolling militant drum and bass that continues to progress and evolve.

Vicious Circle and Cold Fusion kept everyone hooked on the dancefloor, with the likes of State of Play – "Poor Man’s Deal" (Konflict Remix) and Rob F & Impulse’s - "Ultraviolet" keeping the pace going through until well after midnight. It was refreshing to see the Renegade Hardware faithful going in hard.

Kane and Genotype spawned classics from every angle alongside MC Fokus in full flow and Ink & Loxy took the night into unexpected territory, with Ink’s – "Need You" whipping the crowd into frenzy. Optical and Keaton were in their element; a particular highlight was hearing an impulsive mix of Dillinja’s – "All Aboard". The track absolutely brought the house down and the loyalists at the front were screaming for a re-wind.

Though it would be unfair to pick out a clear winner - such was the seamless quality of mixing and selection from every artist on the roster - Future Forces’ Maldini alongside Bad Company’s Vegas at 4am may have shaded the victory over the fierce line-up on the night. Fortran – "Sardines" (Bad Company Remix) reignited the room, acting as a reminder that Bad Company were at the absolute height of their craft in this historic era.

The crowd in Brixton remained until the very end, with Digital and Spirit creating an atmosphere of enduring energy. Doc Scott and Total Science entertained the scattered groups in various states of physical and mental (in)stability as the night drew to a close, with the early dropping of Marcus Intalex & ST Files "How You Make Me Feel" being the highlight.

When I left the club at 7am nothing was clearer in my mind than the achievement and the spectacle created by the people behind the label. Twenty years is an awful long time to be doing anything, but such dedication to the genre has earned them a legion of loyal fans and one hell of a milestone. If Renegade Hardware continue to throw nights like this, drum and bass will undoubtedly stay the course. Fingers crossed, part two in May can complement seeing so many great performances all under one roof. These are the kind of nights that London lives for.